NM, RV Park Reviews, Tiny Life, Travel

Heron Lake State Park ~ Los Ojos, NM

New Mexico has some of the best state parks in the country, IMO, and back in January of 2017 when we still had the truck camper we purchased a year pass but unfortunately never got to use it.  So when we got back on the road again in our Avion we decided we had better get our moneys worth out of it before it expired (01/31/18)!

New Mexico state park passes cost $225 a year for out of state residents and $180 a year if you’re a New Mexico resident.  Now that might seem like a lot but when you are camping and are in a non-electric site the cost is free!  If you choose a power and water site the cost is $4 a day and a full hookup site (where available) is $8!  Not a bad deal, IMO.  Also dump sites are available at most parks.

Our first state park of this tour was Heron Lake State Park in Los Ojos, NM.  Situated just 20 minutes from Chama, NM and fed by the Rio Chama.  This state park and lake offers many camping opportunities but if you’re looking for something with power and water there are only two options:  Blanco and Willow Creek.

Site #57 at Blanco. Large pull through, power/water and a picnic table with shelter
Willow Creek has smaller sites and not nearly as many pull throughs as Blanco so when we came through looking for a site we chose Blanco.  We found a large pull through almost immediately that was a non-reservation site.  All sites in Blanco have fire pits and picnic tables and some have covered shelters.  Our site had a shelter and was fairly private. Blanco also has a bathhouse with showers while Willow Creek has a bathroom with toilets only.

There are many hiking trails in the camping areas that lead down to and go around the lake.  All are easy paths to hike and offer beautiful views!

Hiking trails to the lake!

Heron Lake

A place to rest with a view of the lake
The only downside to the campsites at Blanco and Willow Creek is that none of the sites have a true view of the lake.  You can glimpse it from certain sites but there are no full views.  There are other dispersed camping sites down the road that you can see the lake from but none offer electric or power so keep that in mind.  Also, some of the other dispersed areas are not able to accommodate larger rigs.  Be sure to scout all areas before driving in!

Another view of site #57
Length of stay in all New Mexico state parks is 14 days and as we are determined to take it slow this winter we did stay the whole 14 days in Blanco.

Verizon cell service offers 1 bar of LTE but it can go in and out without a booster.  TMobile was nonexistent.

All in all, Blanco and Willow Creek offer nice pull through and back in sites that are fairly large and private, good amenities and lots of outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing.  We will definitely be back!

Gorgeous pine trees!

It was wildflower season!

Beautiful sunsets!

Goodnight!
Boondocking!, Eats & Drinks, General info, Tiny Life, Travel

Why We Live This Life

Many times people question us as to why we choose to live “homeless”. We tell them we are not homeless but that we take our home everywhere with us!  A lot of our family in particular think we are crazy, or just going through “a phase”.  No amount of words can persuade them.  No matter, we love this life and this is why. Photos can say what words cannot express. Enjoy.

1.  Visiting amazing places! In just the past couple of years we have visited some beautiful locations and we haven’t even touched the tip of the ice berg yet! Here is a sample of some of the places we have seen:

Santa Fe, NM
American Girl Mine
Crater Lake
Ojo Caliente, NM
Mammoth Lakes, CA
South Lake Tahoe area

 

2.  Meeting great people and inspiring others along the way. So amazing!

Doug, Denise, Zoey and us at Treasure Falls, CO. We inspired them to live full time in an RV and they inspired us to buy our Avion! We’ve known them for over 13 years.
Laurie & Scott of Disrupting Ordinary in Quartzsite
Me with Kait & Leo of We’re The Russo’s in Woodland Hills, CA
Lucas, Nancy & friends in Mammoth Lakes
Shannon & Dave of 2 Wander Away in American Girl Mine

Amazing food!!

Homemade margaritas & fajitas!
Amazing nachos from Kips Cantina, Pagosa Springs, CO
Steak & Kale salad, Ojo Caliente Spa
Low Country Boil in the middle of nowhere!
Amazing views and great food, Klamath Falls

And last but not least, incredible sunsets:

Mittry Lake, Yuma, AZ
Sam’s Family Spa, Desert Hot Springs, CA
American Girl Mine, CA
Somewhere in AZ
Tierra Amarilla, NM
Mammoth Lakes, CA

As you can see, the above photos are just some of the reasons we live this life. And these are just brief moments of why we do this. Our main driving force?  FREEDOM!

Is it all peaches and cream? Hell no! There are many sucky days just like living in a sticks and brick! But we wouldn’t trade this life for all the houses in the world!

New adventure awaits just down the road! Live your life while you can and stop buying into the fallacy that keeping up with the Joneses is the right thing to do. The Joneses are broke!

Travel is the ONLY thing you buy that makes you richer!

Cheers!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock or Bust

NM, RV Park Reviews

Twin Rivers RV Park ~ Chama, NM

Our first week back full time RV living was spent just a short drive from where we had been staying the past 6 months. One hour south of Pagosa Springs, CO is the little town of Chama, NM.

This might sound familiar to our followers as our cabin was just 20 minutes from this town so needless to say we know the area well.

We decided that a shake down week would be a good way to start things off and get out any bugs we might have in the rig. So we stayed at Twin Rivers RV Park in Chama.

Twin Rivers RV Park entrance

Twin Rivers is family owned and operated right on the corner of Highways 84/64 behind the Chevron station.  It’s a small RV park compared to others in the area but it was safe, convenient and inexpensive. Plus we secured a last minute reservation for the Labor Day weekend. Score!

Site #22 at Twin Rivers
Non shaded sites – we are at the far right
Shaded sites
Tent camping sites – all have covered picnic areas

Pros of this RV park:

  • Super friendly staff
  • Pet friendly
  • Inexpensive (we paid $22/night with the 7th night free)
  • Excellent location. Close to downtown, grocery store and gas stations
  • Decent site. Level and as we were on an end fairly large.
  • Clean (but older) bath houses and laundromat
  • Decent Verizon LTE signal – 4 bars

Cons of this RV park:

  • Close to highway so there is a bit of traffic noise mostly during the day
  • It was pretty full so we didn’t get a shady spot but we didn’t make reservations until last minute
  • An older park and some of the connections are in random places but it didn’t affect our site

Honestly, I can’t think of too many cons for this park. The owners Sonia and Ernest are really the best! They are very friendly and will always try to accommodate you the best they can.

Office at Twin Rivers RV Park
Cute touches!
Laundry room and bathhouse. Older but clean and functional

Yes there are nicer RV parks in Chama but if you are looking for reasonable rates and convenient location then Twin Rivers can’t be beat!

And the good news about our shakedown trip was we had no issues with the Avion. And the bonus? We found out our AC unit works! We didn’t know if it would until we could get to a 30 amp plug.

Blowing cold after sitting for 12 years!! It even got down to 50!!

All in all it was a very nice week spent in Chama. The park is quiet and mostly filled with people living here full time for the summer. The park is closed during the winter months. If you need a quick stop over or want an extended stay in the area, be sure to tell Sonia and Ernest that we sent you!

Boondocking!, Solar, Tiny Life, Travel

And We Are On The Road Again!

This has been a crazy year to say the least. Mark experienced some really bad health issues this year which put a brake on our travels. His health issues were getting so bad we even sold our little off grid cabin. 😢

Sold!! We will miss this adventure

Fortunately we were able to figure out what was causing all his symptoms (Lupus) and now we have a game plan with his doctor and are able to get the most severe of his issues under control.  Along with his major back surgery nearly 4 years ago, things have been really insane health wise. I’m glad that we now have a handle on it and know how to deal with it!

As Mark was feeling better we started to get the itch to travel again. Our friends Doug and Denise have a cute 1978 Avion and we fell in love with it when we visited them.

Doug, Denise, Zoey and “Ava” the Avion

We made it our mission to find one and that we did. We even got to surprise them this summer with it! And of course we were fortunate to have their help for about a month with the rehab of our rig.

Now that Armani the Avion is restored to his former (and better, imo) glory we have decided to hit the road again.

All set up at our first location on our latest journey

We will be hanging in the northern New Mexico area while we finish up some doctors visits and shake the bugs out of the rig.  Oh, and we got a couple new travel partners too!! Meet Ranger (blk/wht) and Scout (tabby). So far they have taken to RV life just fine and we anticipate many fun adventures with them!

RV life is tough on kitties! 😂

See you down the road!

Adios!
General info, Remodel, Tiny Life, Uncategorized

Avion After Photos

Finally!! After nearly 3 months of working full time on Armani the Avion we are pleased to say he is ready to be a full time RV!

Not to say that everything is finished. As we all know with RV’s of any age the work never stops. We did complete the solar project as well (more on that later). And we still have to buff and polish his satiny aluminum! But now we are ready to get back on the road after our nearly 8 month hiatus! Wow! I can’t believe it’s been that long.

But without further ado I present the completed interior of our Avion. Click on each picture to see a full size version. Go HERE to see the before photos! Enjoy!

New awning installed!
New and improved lounge area!
Another view of the lounge
Love the “L” shape!
The dining area set up
New fridge (electric), new hardware on screen door and a compass rose decal!
Compass Rose decal up close!
Looking towards the lounge and kitchen area
Loving the NEW kitchen! It’s amazing what paint can do!
More kitchen
Another view
With the kitchen cart and “bar” added – the Berkey is a must!
Up close detail of my faux finished counters! They turned out great!
The new flip up desk! Replaced the old dresser that stuck out too far
Desk engaged
Another view of desk
Desk engaged – see the storage underneath?
Bedroom completed! Sweet dreams on our 10″ memory foam mattress
Looking the other way. We installed our 12 volt TV on the cabinet for easy viewing.
The rear bath. So large and luxurious now. We carried our 100% cork flooring throughout the whole rig.
Large porcelain sink. Kitty approved!
New flush toilet and the counters were faux finished in here as well.

And that’s it for now!  I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour of all the updates we have done.  Now to hit the road!

1979 Avion 29J. What a fun restoration this was!

Cheers!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock or Bust!